The Q&A Archives: Getting rid of weeds

Question: We moved to a new house last year with lovely gardens. However by the time we moved in last spring, our gardens were overrun with weeds. The last couple of weeks I have been pulling weeds almost everyday after I come home from work which I really don't enjoy. What is the most effective and safe way to keep the weeds under control without hurting the perenials and bulbs that are coming up?

Answer: Because the planting bed is established, about the only safe way to go about eradicating weeds is to pull them up, roots and all. Once you've gotten rid of the existing weeds you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide (such as Preen or the corn-based Wow!). It won't harm your perennials or bulbs but it will stop weed seeds from germinating. Or, you can hoe the weeds down and cover the bare earth with dampened newspapers (anchor them down), or a weed block fabric. Once you have the weeds under control (after hoeing or pulling and applying a pre-emergent) you should be able to sit back and enjoy your beautiful flower garden.

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